Shameless (US): Three Boys   Rewatch 
June 28, 2014 2:56 PM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Frank has a lump in his scrotum, and assumes he has cancer without waiting for the biopsy results. He starts to wear a tie so he’ll look nice for the Grim Reaper.

Steve is pulled over while driving around Fiona in his stolen car. He acts quickly to get around the police, and Fiona gets an adrenaline rush.

Ian goes to Kash’s (and his wife’s) house, and the bedroom freaks him out: “It smells like goats.”

V’s brother, Marty, who involuntarily yells obscenities due to Tourette’s syndrome, escapes from prison, where he was serving a sentence for arson. He's determined to show up at V and Kev's fake wedding, but V is determined to keep her brother away.

Foreshadowing: Karen declares: “The whole idea of marriage is a useless vestige of an archaic civilization... It's just a piece of paper.” (Karen will later get married, and won't take her marriage very seriously.) Debbie, perhaps thinking of her own parents' breakup, responds precociously to defend marriage: "A birth certificate is just a piece of paper. And money! Money is just a piece of paper. But those are pret-ty valuable."

Eddie tells the agoraphobic Sheila: “The sun is just a burning ball of fire that could plunge from the sky at any time.” Considering how things will end up for Eddie, it’s interesting that he attempts to scare someone else by describing an apocalyptic plunging.

I wasn’t a fan of Frank’s doctor who implausibly smokes cigarettes while treating her patient — a cheap and obvious way to get laughs. The show usually strikes a better balance between low-key comedy and drama.

But I loved the cancer support meeting, where Frank attempts to be sensitive to the woman who’s just opened up about her life with breast cancer: “Just knowing your tits are trying to kill you? That’s gotta suck. I mean, mine’s in my balls, so they’ve got a reason to be pissed… They’re a bizarre appendage, an afterthought, which is why I don’t believe in intelligent design. There is no God; we’re all gonna die.”

A quietly touching scene: Kev and V in bed, talking about their future, with Fiona reacting beside them; Kev muses about the “little tomorrow people” he and V could have.

(Shameless Wiki.)
posted by John Cohen (2 comments total)
Even in these early episodes, I was always struck by how Ian's portrayal rings so true to me. His story lines are one of the reasons I keep coming back. My heart ached for both of them in this episode.

As disturbing as it seems, I feel like V and Kev are the most normal of all of the cast members. Given some of their story arc twists, that should speak volumes about the rest of the show.

Frank, in his own weird and fucked up way, has a few keen insights and good bits of dialogue. That character, though, is an irredeemable fuckup. Just when I get the slightest inkling of sympathy for him, he always makes me want to chuck him off a bridge.
posted by conradjones at 3:20 PM on June 28, 2014

The sun is just a burning ball of fire that could plunge from the sky at any time.

Oh man this is totally planted to reference the jet engine that almost crushes Sheila to keep her agoraphobic for an extra season, which is easily the dumbest thing this show ever did.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:54 AM on June 30, 2014

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